Monday, March 7, 2011

China Update #17 - Hong Kong

(From Jay)

We Made It To Hong Kong!  We are now one step closer to home.

Unfortunately, Guangzhou doesn't tend to have many international flights, so one of the main options adoption families take is to ride the train to Hong Kong and fly out of Hong Kong's international airport.  Its not that we were wanting to tour Hong was a means to an end.

We arrived in Hong Kong around 2:30...found our guide, and took a 40 minute van ride to our hotel located next door to the airport.  It was an interesting ride.  The train station was downtown Kowloon, so we got to see some of the downtown area on the east side of Kowloon.  We had to hop a view islands to get to Lantau Island.  The terrain was beautiful.  There were mountains, ocean, and high rise buildings everywhere. 

The other thing you could help noticing was the vast amount of ocean traffic and shipyards handling importing and exporting.  I didn't snap any great photos, but it was hard to take in the amount and size of the containers stacked everywhere on ships.

Another treat that I admit shows the nerd side of me was that we got to go over the Tsing Ma bridge...which was a surprise to me until right before we approached it on the way to the hotel.  It's the 7th longest suspension bridge in the give some scale...its over 300 ft longer than the Golden Gate Bridge (which is #9).

After checking into our hotel that was literally connected to the airport, we walked over and hopped an express train to Hong Kong Island.  We weren't sure what to expect...we had not prepared ourself for Hong Kong...we just thought it would be cool to walk in the city before we left.

Twenty-Four minutes later we got off of the train, and walked north beside the tallest building I had ever seen before.  We made our way north to the harbor and hopped on a Star Ferry for a total cost of about $3 for all of us.  We took the 10 minute ride across the sea marveling at the skyline on both sides.  Hong Kong was WAY bigger and crazier than we had imagined.  Camille and I went to New York City once on an uncrowded weekend nine years ago...but to hit downtown Hong Kong on what appeared to be a crazy weekend on a Friday night at about was NUTS!  Camille and the girls were terrified!  There were so many people...of all shapes and sizes and colors and languages.  I was overwhelming.  Our desire to walk around for a few hours, was quickly reduced to...well, let's walk around for a few minutes, grab a quick american-type supper, and get back to the hotel!  So that's what we did...we ate at a Chicago Grill at Harbor City (the biggest mall I've ever seen), and then rode the ferry back across and rode the train back to the hotel.  So much for us being adventurers!  Tomorrow, we fly out for America! 

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